Score 44 points in most football games and you probably get a win. Welcome to the world of Montana 8-man football.
In a wild shootout between two of the state’s leading 8-man teams, the Clark Fork Mountains Cats almost doubled that offensive output on their way to an 80-44 win Friday over host Seely-Swan.
Cats junior quarterback Bryan Mask threw six touchdown passes and teammate Trey Green ran for three scores to lead Clark Fork, a co-op of players from Superior and Alberton. The win improved the second-ranked Mountain Cats record to 7-0 on the year. With the loss, Seely-Swan fell to 4-3.
Mask opened the evening’s scoring frenzy early in the first quarter with a 71-yard bomb to wide out Kyler Francis. A short time later Green ran through the Black Hawks defense on his way to a 23-yard touchdown.
Green added successful point after runs on both opening touchdowns and added another touchdown run from 6 yards away to lift the Cats to a 22-0 lead.
Mask and Francis then hooked up on a 15-yard scoring strike before Seely-Swan got on the scoreboard via a pick-six, 40-yard interception return, making the score 28-8 in favor of Clark Fork.
The Mountain Cats continued the offensive fireworks in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown toss from Mask to senior wideout Isaiah Kovalsky.
But Seely-Swan answered that score with one of its own on a 22-yard run by Owen Mercado. Shortly after that, the Mountain Cats struck back on a short toss from Mask to Jake Callaway from the one-yard line. On the ensuing possession Seely-Swan running back Dakota Wood broke free on a 63-yard TD run to cut the Clark Fork lead to 40-22.
Callaway added to Clark Forks’ total on the next series when he bolted into the end zone from 16 yards out. Seely-Swan continued the TD assault with a 62-yard touchdown throw to round out the first half with Clark Fork holding a 48-30 lead.
The third quarter proved the offensive show was not over when Seely-Swan’s Wood took a kickoff and raced 65 yards for six points and an extra point conversion to narrow the Cats lead to 48-38. An 11-yard TD run by Green and a pair of touchdown throws from Mask to Kovalsky and Callaway, the last a 43-yard heave helped Clark Fork put the game out of reach.
Seely added a long 50-yard TD strike of its own but the third quarter came to an end with Clark Fork up 72-44.
Clark Fork added a 13-yard touchdown run by Wesley Buchanan in the fourth quarter to close out the night’s scoring binge.
With a high playoff seed and a conference championship well within their reach the Mountain Cats return home Friday night when they host 3-3 Plains, which routed Victor 66-6 in its last outing.